I'm new to the DSLR world and I can't seem to figure out why I have two copies of all of my pictures when I go to load them on my computer. Is there a way to turn this off so I don't have to go through and delete one copy of everything all the time.
Most dSLRs have the capability to be set to save both the RAW and JPEG versions of an image. The RAW file is (mostly) the raw data dump from the sensor, while the JPEG is a compressed file, where some of the color data was discarded in order to make the file much smaller. If you simply go to the size/quality settings in your camera, and turn off RAW+JPEG, that should stop your camera from taking two files per shot. You'll most likely want to choose a specific JPEG size/quality combination, or RAW.
JPEGs are good as final delivery files, if you don't plan to mess about with them in post-processing a lot. RAW files give you more latitude for post-processing adjustments--particularly color shifts--because all of the original data can be recovered. For example, if you set the camera to the wrong white balance setting and take the image as a JPEG, it can be difficult, or cause color halos in the image to try and shift it back to the "right" setting. With RAW, you can reset the white balance, as it were, after the fact, without any visible artifacts. If you set the camera to shoot in B&W, the JPEG will have had all its color information discarded, while with RAW, you can recover the full color information to make a color image, or to use the color for B&W conversion.
Some shooters choose to have the camera keep the RAW file as well as the compressed JPEG because they can use the JPEG immediately (say, for social media or delivery), but still have the RAW for post-processing later.
You probably took raw and jpeg images.
take a look at the file extension, one is probably .nef and the other .jpeg
Is there a way to turn this off so I don't have to go through and delete one copy of everything all the time.
Yes, you have to check you user manual for that.
If you only want either one, you have to decide which one. Nikon has this article on their website that will give you a basic understanding of what this is all about:
JPEG: These images are a standard for web and email images as well as images from compact digital cameras.
JPEG is a standardized image-compression format. JPEG compression reduces the file size but has no effect on the number of pixels in the image (i.e., the resolution). JPEG was designed to compress the file size of photos and can handle as many colors as are in the picture. It is also lossy, meaning that some information is lost during compression, and the decompressed image is not a total match with the original. This means that a little bit of image detail quality is lost when saved as JPEG.
Most cameras have several different quality settings (Fine, Normal and Basic, for instance) which make the file size smaller at the expense of image quality. At the highest quality setting of "Fine" there is very little actual quality loss. Nikon digital cameras represent JPEG capture as Fine (1:4 JPG), Normal (1:8 JPG), and Basic (1:16 JPG).
Be aware that JPEG compression quality loss is cumulative, meaning that if you open a JPEG image and edit it (crop, change color, resize, etc.) and resave it as a JPEG image quality will be lost. It is a good idea not to repeatedly save as a JPEG.
In most cases, even for high-quality printing, JPEG compression is more than adequate. It is important to remember not to compress a file that is already in JPEG format, especially if you are looking for the best quality print possible.
TIFF A TIF image is an uncompressed image showing the full detail of the image with no quality loss. TIFF images are very large and can take large amounts of storage space and can take a long time to save to the memory card.
When a TIF image is created in the camera, the camera takes the RAW image from the camera's sensor and converts it into the TIFF format using the settings in the camera's menus. There is little reason to shoot TIFF images in the camera.
RAW A RAW image is the pure data directly saved from the camera's image sensor onto the card. With other image formats the camera processes the raw data and converts it to TIFF or JPEG, but with RAW mode the pure data is saved and can be edited later. Since no corrections have been made there is more opportunity to edit the file later. RAW images must be converted to a printable format (like TIFF) using proprietary software.
RAW images are larger than JPEG but not as large as TIFF.
NEF Nikon calls images saved in the RAW format "NEF" files. Nikon RAW NEF files can be edited in Nikon View Editor, PictureProject, Nikon Capture Editor and Nikon Adobe Photoshop plug-in.
This unique format consists of the RAW data of an image, along with an instruction set that provides extensive image editing capability not available with other file formats. With a NEF file, the original RAW data of an image is never changed. All corrections and adjustments that you make are preserved in the file's instruction set. You can change the instruction set as many times as you like without ever disturbing the original image's RAW data. Using the software listed above you can change the shooting White Balance, adjust Exposure Compensation as well as basic color, sharpening and levels controls.
Current Nikon DSLR cameras, including the D3-series, D2-series, D700, D300(S), D200, D100, D7000, D5000, D3100, D3000, D90, D80, D70s, D70, D60, D50, D40X, D40, all support the NEF RAW file format. All future Nikon Digital SLR cameras will support the NEF RAW file, and some Coolpix cameras will as well.
Many users think of their NEF files as their original digital "negative" which they then make changes to and save the changed files as TIFF (or JPEG) for printing.
Compressed NEF Visually lossless compression method used for NEF in D70 and other Nikon products that support NEF compression.